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Facebook Exchange: 10 Steps to Boost Conversions

Written by: Janina Tantoco, Senior Campaign Manager

Just how powerful is the Facebook Exchange? FBX, Facebook’s real-time ad exchange, is one of the best performing ad products available in digital media because of its ability to deliver ads to people who have demonstrated intent by visiting and engaging with their domains. It has opened up a whole new world for direct response marketers who have successfully leveraged FBX to drive purchases, app installs, travel bookings and form submissions. And the results are staggering. On average we’ve seen FBX campaigns deliver an ROI of 546%.

Since FBX went live, we’ve worked with hundreds of the world’s largest ecommerce, gaming and travel companies to help them remarket on Facebook.   We’ve found that there are a variety of factors that help advertisers boost conversions and have created a list of 10 best practices to help you get the most out of FBX.

1. Run a Combination of FBX and Facebook Ads API.

Complimentary advertising channels, you should leverage a mix of FBX and Facebook Ads API to maximize reach and achieve a strong return on your ad spend.  The Facebook Ads API provides access to Facebook’s rich targeting data (demographics, connections, interests, more) while FBX allows marketers to bring their own 1st party data to Facebook. Facebook API ads are effective for driving users to landing pages who can then be retargeted with FBX ads.  This will help you grow the pool of people in your remarking groups.

Nanigans conducted a study to understand the interplay between the Facebook Ads API and the Facebook Exchange.   Ecommerce customers who were targeted with Facebook Exchange ads after first seeing an API ad generated 89% more in sales revenue than customers who entered the retargeting pool through non-Facebook channels.   Additionally, native Facebook audience targeting led to 39% incremental purchasing customers than FBX tactics alone.

2. Differentiate Your Ad Creative

It’s important to differentiate your FBX ads from your API Ads to avoid serving the same ads over and over to the same people.  We recommend you use dynamic creative to display creative at an individual product SKU level and leverage frequency capping so you can limit the amount of times a person sees your ad.

3.  Balance Your Campaign.

Dynamic creative is highly effective for users who have shown intent for specific products sites because it customizes ad creative at an individual, SKU level.  This empowers advertisers to retarget people on Facebook who recently explored and engaged with their domains.   A Nanigans study revealed that dynamic creative through FBX resulted in a 5.1X higher ROI (return in sales revenue on the cost of the ad spend) than more evergreen creative displayed on the right hand side (RHS).

We also recommend running static creative in combination with dynamic creative. This allows you to reach users who have triggered other actions on the site that may not be passing a SKU value (such as a landing or registration).

4. Leverage Frequency Capping.

With FBX, there is the option to set frequency capping. You can set how many times a person sees your ad per hour, day or week. You can also manage the gap, or the amount of time between ad impressions. This is particularly useful for FBX campaigns leveraging dynamic creative because it allows you to adjust the amount of creative impressions a person sees in a given time period to optimize the results.

5. Find the Right Mix.

It’s absolutely essential that every FBX campaign leverages News Feed inventory. News Feed ads are more personal and engaging as they are displayed where Facebook users spend the bulk of their time.  The News Feed historically has proven more successful with higher CTRs and purchase rates. A recent Nanigans study revealed that Page post ads in the News Feed delivered a 26x higher ROI than domain ads on the right hand side (RHS).

Despite the stronger performance of News Feed Ads, RHS ads are still a cost effective way to retarget your audiences.  Because News Feed inventory can be more competitive for many advertisers, RHS ads can help to increase reach.  We recommend leveraging both News Feed and RHS ads.

6. Target Broadly.

Although ecommerce marketers typically choose precise targeting tactics for their performance marketing campaigns, when it comes to retargeting with FBX, broad targeting can be more effective.  Advertisers than only serve ads to users who have “added products to their cart but didn’t purchase” will miss out on users who “viewed a landing page but didn’t purchase.”  While a user who added to a cart is much more qualified than a landing page viewer, targeting the broader pool encourages viewers who have never “added to cart” to do so, growing that more precise pool of users who “added to products to their cart but didn’t purchase”.

7. Try Different Ads.

It’s important to A/B test your ad creative and landing pages.  Start with multiple ads and landing pages that correspond with your ad’s messaging.  Use FBX to test these iterations, deactivate your low performing ad creative and optimize new ad creative.   Establishing a winner in a test campaign environment is a great way to validate the quality of an ad creative before rolling it out to a broader-reach campaign.

8.  Deploy Cookie Syncing Early On.

To begin retargeting users, you’ll need to set up cookie syncing. This helps your DSP identify the user to Facebook and tells it what to advertise to them the next time they visit Facebook.   Cookie syncing is not retroactive so you can only create a segment of targetable users after you have deployed cookie syncing.

9.  Optimize Your Bidding Strategy.

Real-time bidding requires a lot of different strategies. Unlike API ads, FBX ads are used to retarget an advertiser’s own site visitors using the advertiser’s 1st-party data rather than Interest Graph data.  Facebook Exchange is designed for the bottom of the funnel and caters to direct-response advertisers who want to increase conversions through retargeting. FBX ads usually require higher bids than API ads because they are highly targeted to specific audience segments and they deliver more efficient direct response results.

10. Identify Your Most Valuable Customers

With predictive lifetime value you can identify the amount of revenue a customer generates over time so you can understand their long-term value right away.  So for example, you would bid more for a customer who is expected to spend more over time rather than a customer who is predicted to spend less over time.   By optimizing to predictive lifetime value, you can be confident that you will be protecting yourself against low future values, and making the most of your advertising investment today.

If you are a direct response marketer who is not leveraging remarketing on Facebook, you are missing out.  Facebook’s massive reach (more than 1 billion users) combined with its high quality, above the fold ad inventory produce exceptional results for advertisers. When planning your campaign, be sure to leverage the Facebook Ads API to discover and FBX to close individual customers to maximize your return on ad spend.

Interested in learning more about FBX? Contact us to get started.

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